Who’s Grooming Who? The NRA is Preying on Kids

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

Under the cover of teaching kids Gun Safety, the NRA is “grooming” them so that not only will they support the NRA and the Military, but most of all the Second Amendment[i]. Although Conservatives freely use “grooming” as a term of strong derision in their continuous condemnation of schools using books about LGBTQ’s , that’s precisely what the NRA is doing.

Under the banner of helping fund Junior ROTC programs, the NRA has succeeded in gaining a foothold in schools. But it’s not without considerable controversy.

Although the guns that kids use fire pellets instead of real bullets, they nevertheless look exactly like the “real things”. Given the numbers of Mass Shootings in and around schools and society as a whole, there is understandably considerable fear about the mere presence of such programs on school grounds. Thus, even though it’s been proposed to move them offsite and thus physically separate them from schools, the fear they engender is still palpable.

As Deborah Teal, an instructor at Santa Ana High School, put it: “The militarization of the kids, especially vulnerable kids, is what bothered me.”

Yes, teaching kids Gun Safety is important, but with so many schools instituting regular drills to help students shelter-in-place from Gun Violence, how could the very presence of such programs no matter where they are located not instill fear? Especially in a society that has more Guns than people.

If ever there were a case of More Is Less, this is surely it.

[i] Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Mike Baker, “Money for Military Instruction Gets the N.R.A. Insides Schools,” The New York Times, Wednesday, December 21, 2022, PP. A1 and A16.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash



Professor Emeritus USC

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